Blue Train Luxury Safari is one of our favorite journeys. We paired the Blue Train with five-star hotels and luxury Belmond Botswana safari camps. Our journey includes unique experiences, from the Blue Train itself, to beautiful Cape Town, to unique stays in the Botswana bush.
But remember: book early; the camps are small and popular.
*Special Value: We extend valuable complimentary and exclusive amenities to our guests at every accommodation in this Blue Train Luxury Safari because we are members of the exclusive Bellini Club and members of Virtuoso. They include but are not limited to dining credits, spa credits and helicopter rides.
And special care is taken from the minute you are met at the airport by your hostess plane-side to the time he or she waves goodbye after seeing you to your international gate. Before you know it, you’ll be whisked to the Belmond Mount Nelson, our favorite hotel in Cape Town, where they coddle our guests with the finest of everything. Then, take the sophisticated Blue Train for arrival Johannesburg. We organize your stay at our favorite, the five-star Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa. After sightseeing in this world-class city, fly to Maun and on to the fabulous safari camps run by Belmond. Belmond Eagle Island Lodge and Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge are both newly renovated and fabulous. We love this itinerary — and we ought to know, because we designed it to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Take someone special to South Africa and Botswana. Let us know it’s a celebration, and we’ll do all we can to make it very special!
“There was so much going on—meeting people in the rear lounge car with its immense windows, enjoying afternoon tea or exquisite meals and fine South African wines—we almost forgot to look out the window at the passing scene.”
— Owen Hardy, CEO & Founder, Track 25®
“I would go back to Savute, Eagle Island or Khwai River Camp in a heartbeat. I will never forget it. Belmond does a fabulous job in Botswana and South Africa. Belmond camps with Blue Train is a dynamite combination.”
— Eleanor Hardy, President, Society of IRT
Day 1: Cape Town
Your VIP journey starts as soon as you arrive at Cape Town airport when your personal VIP assistant meets you right at the airplane, and escorts you to pick up your bags and to your private car and driver to the five-star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Complimentary upgrade to Junior Suite at time of booking subject to availability. Exclusive Virtuoso amenities.
Day 2: Cape Point
Enjoy your private, full-day Cape Point tour, which includes one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world. Savor lunch in the lovely café followed by a visit to the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens. These gardens are over 100 years old and boast over 6,000 species of flora. Return to your hotel in the early evening.
Day 3: Cape Winelands
Take a private Winelands Tour, including a visit to the Muratie Wine Estate. Here you will enjoy a private wine tasting and cellar tour including a traditional South African lunch hosted by the owner. This is one of the oldest traditional wine estates in Stellenbosch.
Day 4: The Blue Train
Private transfer to the Blue Train lounge for morning departure. Soon thereafter, it’s time for an elaborate brunch. The afternoon includes a 45-minute walk around tiny Matjiesfontein, afternoon tea on board and pre-dinner drinks. Dinner is an elegant occasion with numerous courses and carefully paired wines, which are included; men are requested to wear jacket/tie and ladies evening wear. Overnight in your private compartment.
Day 5: The Blue Train; Pretoria
Breakfast is served in the dining car or in your cabin. Afternoon arrival at Pretoria Station, where you are met by your guide, who will take you on a half-day Johannesburg tour, with a stop at the outstanding Apartheid Museum, which we feel is a must-see in South Africa. Check in to the Saxon Boutique Hotel, an exclusive private retreat set on ten acres of landscaped gardens and one of our favorite Virtuoso hotels in South Africa. The striking infinity pool, the sophisticated Dining Library, and the exclusive Cigar Lounge each offer their own type of relaxation. We will make a reservation for you in their fine-dining restaurant, not to be missed.
Days 6-7: Okavango Delta
Transfer to the airport for short flight to Maun, then by light aircraft to Eagle Island Camp in Okavango Delta. The camp has 12 beautifully appointed luxury tents. Your program includes safaris by helicopter, boat and foot with wonderful guides. All meals, drinks, game-viewing activities–even laundry!– are included. This program includes two nights at Eagle Island. (Let us know if you want to stay longer. We met a family who stayed five nights.)
Days 8-9: Chobe National Park
Transfer by light aircraft to the heart of the Chobe National Park, known as the elephant capital of the world. It’s also a fantastic place for spotting leopards, lion, wild dog, cheetah, hyena, zebra and beautiful birds. The Savute Elephant Camp perches right on the Savute Channel, a spectacular base for exploring. Savute is a fusion of old world safari and modern-day luxury. It, too, has only 12 luxury tents. Spend two nights in this all-inclusive camp; all transfers, drinks, meals, laundry, game activities are included.
Day 10: Johannesburg
Morning transfer by light aircraft to Maun where you are again met at the airport and connected with regional flight to Johannesburg. Check-in for your international flight home or extend your stay.
2018 Dates:Cape Town-Johannesburg
August 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
October 7, 14, 21, 23, 28
November 4, 11, 18, 25
December 2, 9, 16, 18
August 21, 28
September 4, 11, 18, 24
October 2, 9, 16, 18, 23, 30
November 6, 13, 20, 27
December 4, 11, 13
2019 Dates:Cape Town-Johannesburg
January 7, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28
February 4, 13, 18, 25, 27
March 4, 11, 13, 18, 25
April 1, 8, 12, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 3, 10, 22, 24, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 21, 26, 28
September 2, 9, 11, 18, 23
October 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30
November 6, 13, 20, 27
December 4, 11, 16, 18
January 7, 9, 14, 16, 22, 28
February 6, 11, 18, 20, 25
March 4, 6, 11, 18, 24
April 1, 5, 15, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 25
July 3, 15, 17, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26
September 2, 4, 11, 16, 30
October 2, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 30
November 6, 13, 20, 27
December 4, 9, 11
|Price (per person) sharing||from US $9,795.00|
Low Season (01 January – 31 March / 15 November – 23 December 2018)
From US $9,795.00 per person sharing
Shoulder Season (01 April – 30 June / 01 October – 14 November 2017 / 24 – 31 December 2018)
From US $10,695 per person sharing
(Dates between 20 December 2018 – 04 January 2019 are subject to a Festive Season Surcharge)
High Season (01 July – 30 September 2018)
From US $13,995.00 per person sharing
For 2019, the trip will gain an additional day because of the new Blue Train schedule, which calls for two nights on the train. In 2019, the train will depart at 6:30 p.m., include an excursion to the Kimberley Open Mine Museum, have not arrive into Cape Town until 10:30 a.m. on Day 3. Pricing is estimated to rise about 10%.
30% deposit required once all details are finalized. Final payment is due 90 days before departure.
Our Process / How to Book Your Trip:
This journey is especially time- and labor-intensive for our travel advisors.
Because of the time involved, we charge a $250 per person “plan to go” fee after we have had a 20-minute courtesy phone conference with you, during which we will answer any preliminary questions you have and collect the necessary information to begin planning your trip.
If your dates are not available, you will be refunded the “plan to go” fee.
If you take this trip, you will be refunded the “plan to go” fee after you return.
Our “plan to go” fee ensures we are able to maintain an extremely high standard of service for all of our valued travelers!
Click here for owners Owen and Eleanor Hardys’ blog about their Blue Train adventure.